Beating Down The Beaten Down.

14 Jul


So it looks like I made it to being one of the last 3 people in this country who still smokes (not including Virginia, or Lakewood). I just saw a cigarette ad that said, “Itchemeyer, smoking still makes you cool!” (I wonder how much that cost.)

But I understand the desperation, they’re getting killed. Taxes on cigarettes are double or triple the actual selling price. Tobacco companies are required to donate an equal amount of money that they spend on cigarette marketing to anti-smoking ad agencies. Etc. Now the government’s coming out with a new law that requires large graphic images of people with cancer, emphysema, etc. to be printed on every box. Check them out, they’re gruesome. Probably going traumatize me for a month until I get desensitized to it.

I understand why people are pushing for this. Smoking kills, yada yada. But let’s look if this is actually helping. It turns out that it has. Smoking has dropped from 50 to 20% since the government started the anti-smoking campaign. The problem is that the number has stagnated there for a while. All the new tricks aren’t making a dent. The smart thing to do now would be to stop pouring money into failing tactics and reassess the situation. Then they could see what’s causing the problem and devise a solution that combats it.

Of course, this is the government, and as long as they keep pouring money into something, it looks like they’re handling the issue, so they don’t have to reassess shit.

Since we won’t be getting any data to work with soon, let me give you the best I can do. There’s another 20% number in this country- the people who took illegal drugs this year. Interesting, no? Here’s something that the government has not only campaigned against, but made illegal, and locks up thousands of people a year for, and 20% of people still do it. Why?

Well, why do people do any vice they know that’s bad for them? Why do people sleep with dirty hookers, or get baked, or look at porn? Because there are needs that can’t be taken care of in a normal society. For most people, the system works. They get enough of what they want out of it, be it sex, or money or power and don’t need to break the rules. Like the smart kid in class, they’re angry at the other kids cheating on their homework.

Other people aren’t in a position to have their needs met. So they buy sex, or escape through smoking cigarettes or pot where they can lessen the anxiety and feel in control of their lives. But these are empty anyway. They don’t give any actual love or control. And since they don’t mean anything, the feeling of the lack returns right afterwards. To quote Doug Stanhope, every vice is it’s own punishment. Why should the government be punishing you for bad choices that only affect yourself?

You can argue with me if you like, I’m just telling you my own feeling on the subject. But do you honestly think I just don’t understand that huffing on a little chimney every day is bad for me?

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8 Responses to “Beating Down The Beaten Down.”

  1. Ben Kaye July 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m wayyy passed being desensitized to those cards, man.

    In Canada, they have giant pictures taking up 70% of the box describing and showing pictures of how exactly your lungs are growing some strange lump that grows in size after every inhalation 😛

    Plus, I’m at a point where every time a buy a new one I collect the warning card inside of them, like: Fact23- smoking kills african babies, you murderous bastard!

    I still don’t know what the point of it is. It’s gnarly, and it doesn’t make me want to stop, it just makes me feel, “fucking government, I know it’s bad for me. Why do you have to make me feel like shit, huh? Why don’t you rob me of all my money while you’re at it?”

    What’s that? Oh, right, with 14 bux a pack, I will slowly starve to death when the tobacco/food allowance no longer has enough for food.
    Way to go, Canada X(

    • itchemeyer July 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      Collecting the warning cards. Awesome!
      Career politicians telling us “we know whats best for you, we’re doing this for your own good” would be hilarious if they weren’t in the process of screwing us.

      • Ben Kaye July 18, 2011 at 4:26 am #

        Screwing us from taxes, for sure.

        Smokes aren’t the only thing that no one can afford in Vancouver, it’s near five bucks for a bag of chips – no exaggeration. Everything is at least double the price.

        But it’s cool, the one good kosher restaurant is high class, so at least when we do eat out, we ride it out in style.

  2. Gutman Braun July 26, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    I’m with ya, but just to state the obvious:
    It’s the the unholy alliance of those evil insurance companies who are behind the movement to drive smokers off the map (and save some ever-rising health-care costs) together with the greedy government types, who never miss a chance to stick in a tax that can be spun in a way that won’t piss off the voting public (and, of course, all those lawyers)…
    And, of course, the same goes for many similar stealth taxes that were enacted for your own protection (seat-belts, for example).

    • itchemeyer July 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

      Never heard that before. I can believe it though.

      • Gutman Braun July 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

        Believe it :-/

  3. Anonymous September 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    we’re getting beat down as hard as they can, they lay off the people off shore the work then jack up the prices, AND the government come around then raises the tax. This ain’t no fun JERRY.

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